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Thursday, December 26, 2019

Annabel Rolley on Extension (Video)

As I end this year over the next week you may be seeing a variety of things, including reposts of some past instructional posts that I think are foundational to a good swing. Tonight I've got another video from Annabel Rolley -- this one, on creating extension through the ball.

Two things to note here.
  • First, extension means that both arms are straight (though not rigid) and the club shaft points straight toward your belly button.
  • And second, if you imagine a clock face superimposed on her swing, that extension happens when your arms are somewhere between the 4 and 5 o'clock position.
Now, once you understand where the extension happens, you have to learn how to do it... and that's where Annabel's drill comes in. No doubt you've seen this drill before, although it's generally used to improve connection between your arms and upper body. But how long you maintain this connection determines what this drill teaches you.

Most players don't maintain this connection long enough. They let their arms drift away from their body during their downswing -- in Annabel's drill, they let the club cover drop before they hit the ball -- and that causes them to push and/or slice their shots.

If they maintain this connection too long -- that is, if they don't let the cover drop until the ball is well on its way -- they tend to pull and/or hook their shots. Bear in mind that some players want this. If you hear about righthanded players who are working on 'swinging left' to help create a fade, they're probably using some version of this drill.

What Annabel wants you to do is let the cover drop somewhere inbetween by letting your arms separate from your upper body while your hands are moving down the line toward your target. This gives you more of a high finish -- at least, it's higher than the low left finish for a fade.

Learning to focus on where you want the ball to go -- and thus swinging your hands along that line -- is one of the fundamental keys to improving your play. This drill helps you do that.


  1. Wouldn’t a chicken wing also cause this to fall out? Any tips on ways to ensure we are feeling proper extension and not just chicken winging it just enough to get it to drop?

    1. Good catch there, Ryan! A chicken wing will create the same problem. Ironically, Annabel's drill is also good for stopping that -- provided you focus on keeping your lead elbow against your ribcage until you reach her release point. That can be a bit difficult for some people to learn while using a full swing, though.

      But you've helped me decide what tomorrow's post will be. I'll repost the main post I did on the L-to-L drill and, if necessary, add a bit more to help you apply it to fixing a chicken wing. How's that?